PERSECUTION. If someone is not being persecuted for his faith in Christ, then the Bible declares he is not living a godly life, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (II Timothy 3:12) In most cases persecution will not come simple because one says he is a Christian, but because he lives a Christlike life “all that will live godly”! If someone has Christian symbols or says he is a Christian, the world will not hate him as long as he lives like they do, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you….” (John 15:19-20)
We should not seek persecution, but if we live for the Lord it will not be avoided! Generally the more one lives for God, the more he will be persecuted. Christ was crucified, Paul was whipped on five occasions with 39 stripes each time, three times he was beaten with a rod, once he was stoned, and a number of times he went to prison, all for his faith in Christ. (II Corinthians 11:23-27) Yet he “sang praises unto God” when he was persecuted (Acts 16: 23-25). Jesus said we should rejoice when persecuted “for great is your reward in heaven:” (Matthew 5:10-12). Yet some Christians complain just because they do not receive a blessing they expected.
There are Christians who are called upon to suffer more than others, “rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name” (Acts 5:41), “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake….” (Philippians 1:29)
POLYGAMY. (See MARRIAGE)